Dating Service Alternatives

An active social life expands your dating options.An active social life expands your dating options.

Dating services have helped couples all over the world find love. However, there are no guarantees and many people using these services have been left disappointed, broken-hearted, and, to add insult to injury, with a hefty bill. But don't fret. There are a numerous ways to find your perfect match outside of the confines and cost of professional matchmakers. Dating service alternatives range from going on nearly a dozen "mini-dates" in an hour to meeting a special someone who is only a few keystrokes away.

Speed Dating

Speed dating is a group activity that involves singles going on round-robin-style, timed "mini-dates" to meet a potential match. These events typically take place in relaxed and safe social environments, and they are coordinated to attract participants with similar interests. During the face-to-face "mini-dates," singles discuss their backgrounds, interests and professions -- and, of course, what they are looking for in a relationship. Most importantly, the one-on-one time helps participants gauge chemistry. If the two parties are interested in each other, they exchange contact information. If there is no connection, the speed daters are under no pressure to deal with each other again. Speed dating events are offered in most cities and they are often free of charge.

Social Networking

Online social networking is a major part of modern life and can inhance your chances of meeting someone special. That's why millions of single people use web sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup, Myspace and Twitter as well as online forums and blogs that enable people with shared interests to congregate. Online interactions cross geographical- and class- boundaries and often operate outside everyday life constraints that limit your pool of potential matches. The anonymity lets you communicate with someone without having to deal with face-to-face rejection. User profiles also contain essential information like relationship status, profession, level of education, interests, hobbies and tastes in everything from food to movies. This helps you quickly find common ground.

Personal Referals

Personal referrals from family members, friends and co-workers are another way to meet someone you may find interesting. The "matchmaker" can gauge compatibility because he knows each person, their interests and the type of people they are likely to find attractive. Additionally, this also means there is less likelihood of meeting someone who is not being honest about their life history, relationship status or profession.

Groups and Organizations

Groups and organizations enable singles to meet while encouraging them to pursue hobbies, expand their horizons or learn something new. They can also provide you with a pool of members who share your interests. Group outings and organizational meetings provide a relaxed environment to interact with fellow members and find out who may be available. The setting also provides an icebreaker that should minimize the awkwardness of striking up a conversation.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Baldwin Ellis has been a writer since 2007. He covers fitness, mental health and travel, with work appearing in print and online publications such as Scazu Fitness and USA Today Travel Tips. Ellis holds a Master of Arts in community psychology.

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